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TV Recaps

The Crown recap: 'Vergangenheit'

The Duke of Windsor’s damning past is revealed

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Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The Crown

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
11/04/16
author:
Nancy Bilyeau
broadcaster:
Netflix
publisher:
Touchstone
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A-

Meanwhile, down at the Captured German War Documents Publication Unit at Whaddon Hall, Buckinghamshire (try saying that three times quickly), the Marburg report has been unearthed by a bunch of zealous historians who believe they have a duty to publish the truth, no exceptions. Their boss tells them his hands are tied, but one American member of the team points out that he has access to the U.S. duplicate files. There’s nothing to stop the American government publishing the files if the Brits won’t.

The historian boss, Mr. Wheeler-Bennett, comes to see Prime Minister MacMillan, who then brings the issue to the queen. He tells her the government is left with no choice but to publish the material her father tried to suppress. And now we (along with Elizabeth) go over to Michael for a quick overview of the Marburg files:

Shortly after the war ended, some American troops arrested a German soldier as he was retreating from central Germany. He turned out to be the assistant to Hitler’s personal translator. When his office was being evacuated, Dr. Schmidt (Hitler’s translator) asked his assistant Von Loesch to dispose of all of his top secret archived papers. Loesch burned most of them but secretly kept the most valuable material, hoping to negotiate his freedom and escape trial. Within that valuable material was a file pertaining to Anglo-German relations between Nazi high command and His Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor. The royal family did everything in their power to contain the files, unaware a copy had been sent to the Americans, who are now insisting the volume be published.

Elizabeth reads the files while the Duke of Windsor goes to meet with the foreign secretary to seek employment. So when he comes to his niece to ask for the needed green light, she’s all, “You had the greatest chance to serve this country, and you gave it up,” then drops the bomb about knowing what he got up to during the war. He looks so indignant; I don’t know how Elizabeth restrains from hitting him in the face. Instead, she informs him that the papers detail his relations with Nazi high command, and one telegram even states that he was considering publicly going against the government and pledging his support for peace with Germany. In return for his support, the Nazi government would gave him in a house to live out the war in safety in Spain while his countrymen gave their lives. David tries to appease her, saying that there was no indication of the monster Hitler would become and peace was all that mattered to him. He then asks her to make peace with him today and tells her he doesn’t believe the public will believe these lies against him anyway. (Next: The Duke Of Windsor gets his comeuppance) 

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